340 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. Kuli was a hamlet termed Kupkan, situated on the south side of the Allah ho Akbar range, on the road which runs from Kiichan to Darragaz. There he earned his living by; making sheepskin coats, and by grazing a few sheep " and- goats near his village in the summer and in the warmer plains to the north in winter. Imam Kuli and his wife were moving with the members of their tribe from the heights of the Allah ho Akbar range to the 'neighbourhood of low-lying Abivard in the autumn of noo (1688)5 and when they were encamped close to the little town of Mohamedabad,1 the future Shah was born. His Captivity and Escape.—The youth of Nadir Kuli was spent in tending flocks and bringing in fuel on an ass and a camel which constituted the sole patrimony of his family after the death of his father. When he was about eighteen years of age, he and his mother were carried off by a raiding party of Uzbegs to Khiva, where four years later his mother died in slavery. The young Nadir Kuli contrived to escape and returned penniless to Khorasan, where he climbed the first step up the ladder of success by entering the service of Baba Ali Beg, Ahmadlu Afshar, who was Governor of Abivard, at that period the capital of the district.2 Appointment to Abivard.—Malik Mahmud, after leaving Isfahan to its fate, as mentioned in Chapter LXVIIL, had soon found an opportunity of seizing Meshed, which had fallen a prey to anarchy. Once secure in his possession of the sacred city, he prepared a crown fashioned like that of the Keianis, and established himself as an independent ruler with a regular army of infantry, artillery, and cavalry. It happened that in the absence of Baba Ali Beg, one of his mamurs or officials came to Abivard and ill-treated the family of the Governor. Nadir Kuli immediately came to the rescue and killed the official. His master, upon his return, was in great perplexity ; but Nadir with remarkable courage proposed 1 This is now termed Kola Kuhna, or "Old Fort," and Is perhaps a mile from the present town. 2 Abivard or Bavard is now a ruin, situated in the vicinity of Kahkha on the Central Asian Railway.